What is it about choosing gifts for Father’s Day that brings out such unease in many of us? Such disquietude? For myself, at least, I feel faint and quivery even contemplating the day, because the issue of the gift–the gift!–*insert gentle weeping* is always such a puzzlement.
This should not be so! I have a perfectly lovely Dad, who is grateful for each one of us kids (I think) (there are five of us) (I guess I’ve never actually heard him say so) (but I think he is?) and he always scolds us gently for each lame gift that we humbly offer him. He says things like this: “You shouldn’t have bought me anything,” and “you should have left your money in your pocket!” not to mention “All I really need, I have: you kids!” when I think what he means is “Oh blast it, noooo, not another lame-o gift that I’ve got to pretend that I like and then store forever! Oiy, oiy, ooooooiy!“
My poor dad. He’s such a sweetie. He deserves better.
Choosing gifts for Mother’s Day–in contrast--is as simple as falling off the proverbial log. There are plenty of choices of gift items presented to consumers to please Mom, in every conceivable genre: for the gardener Mom–new tools, seeds, or a nice plant. For the Mom who cooks–obviously, you never get to the bottom of that well–new tools, fancy aprons or other linens, a new cookbook. Probably the most popular option for Mom: anything that involves pampering (because every single Mom in the world–in the universe–in the tri-universe area, and beyond!–could use pampering): bath supplies, perfumes, jewelry, coupons for a massage or a pedicure! Bubble bath that doesn’t smell like bubblegum.
But for Dad . . . (bless him!) . . . This is what happens at our house. Picture it: the phone rings. A quavery voice says “Mommm? Any ideas for what Dad might like for Father’s Day . . . ?” I can smell the anxiety, though I am miles away from the grown-up child who is calling. Or perhaps it is my own anxiety I’m sensing, because I immediately break out in a cold sweat.
I am filled with memories of Father’s Day gift fails of years past–both for my own dear Dad, and for the dad of my kiddos.
After all, how many new ties/quirky t-shirts/unwatched movie DVDs/baskets of beef jerky/new music CDs/et al, does a fella need? Most dads have received more than their share of the stereotypical Father’s Day gift offerings. And you know how long you’re a father, once you’ve taken on the office?
Until you die.
That’s potentially a very large number of lame Father’s Day gifts, eh? Especially if you have more than one child.
My dad has five. But I think I already mentioned that.
So back to the caller-child with the desperate plea for gift ideas: do you know what I have, ideas-wise, for him or her? Nuthin’. No-thing. Nada. Squelchipie. Or. If I do have an idea, say, Bryan uncharacteristically drops a hint for something, i.e.: “Didja see that awesome squinjamabobble that your Dad was using to whatsipop that doohicky?? I wonder where he bought that? I could really use one of those . . . ”
My eyes open wide at this, and I catch my breath (albeit silently). I make a mental note: at last!—something special that he wants and doesn’t yet possess. I whisper it to myself, to make sure that I will remember it, in reverent tones: “a squinjamabobble . . . squinjamabobble . . . ” Of course. And just in time for Father’s Day, too. I shall find one and buy it.
Then, no sooner than I’ve figured out where Dad got his new squinjamabobble (Cabela’s, probably, or Harbor Freight, possibly Home Depot or Menards. Or Lowe’s. Scheel’s? Gosh, lots of choices) and have made plans to go and buy one, Bryan waltzes in with a paper bag. “Look what I bought for myself!” Guess what it is.
Yep. The very same squinjamabobble in question. Boo. Hiss! Back to the drawing board. A-las.
All these years of Father’s-Day-gift-related-angst came to a head a few weeks ago when I was approached by Tom, of the online store Uncommon Goods, asking me if I’d like to choose some items from this section of their website, where they have oodles of cool things for Dad, or maybe this section, which caters specifically to Father’s Day gift ideas.
Cool free stuff, and for Father’s Day at that? That holiday which instills such panic and more panic in my heart? I didn’t hesitate. I emailed Tom back with a hasty “You betcha,” and started looking for something cool for my Dad on Uncommon Goods.
Selfish, Amy. Very, very selfish. Hush up, shoulder angel. 🙁 *sticking out my tongue*
This website has so many cool, unique things, many of them handmade. I hoped that I could find something that would delight Dad. This Father’s Day: it was going to be different!
So I settled in for a nice thorough browse of the men’s sections of Uncommon Goods. I immediately felt good at the prospect of choosing something from this place. Their mission is to make sustainability part of every decision they make, and seem conscientious about being environmentally friendly, socially responsible and a rewarding place to work, to boot. They folks at Uncommon Goods search out the unusual, too, which I like. You can read more about some of their artisans on their blog here.
I found some things right away that I thought Dad might like. These copper rain gauges are pretty cool, and I am forever calling Dad to ask how much rain we got (we don’t live far away: selfish, again?). Whoa. This Smartphone photo lab is awesome, too. Perhaps Dad would let me borrow it. I really hankered after this Toggle switchplate, too, but I’d probably “forget” to give it to Dad and just install it into my own house. 🙂 Talk about selfish! “Um, Dad, sorry, I ordered something but I’ve misplaced it . . . . erm . . . (loosening collar) . . .
I got really distracted in my search for Dad’s gift by these . . .oh my goodness!! Literary scarves are a nifty idea! Aren’t they neat? Oh but wait, they’re not for Dads. Hmph. (Anybody want an easy gift idea for me? Hint: I love this one so much!! 🙂
Then. (Did you hear the clap of thunder? Honest. I heard it.) I saw it. The perfect gift for my unique and particular Dad. Check it out right here. Absolutely the perfect thing!
It’s a nifty stainless steel briefcase, with twenty (count ’em) stainless steel grilling tools, with heat-resistant handles! I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate for Dad’s gift. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t own anything this shiny to use with his grill, and I figured that, with all the grilling that he does, he certainly deserves such deluxe, impressive grilling tools.
I was just as delighted by the case when it came, and I can’t wait to give it to my Dad. It seems to be very high quality; I like it that the handles are heat-resistant (no fumbling with oven mitts or burning his fingers); and it looks big and flashy enough to communicate what I want to say to Dad: that he means the world to me.
🙂 Well done, me!
My Dad is the most excellent griller that you can imagine–honestly, I would like to give him an apron that says something like “There is nothing this man can’t grill to perfection,” because it’s true. He has long ago perfected the traditional hamburger, bratwurst, and hot dog grilling, and has gone on to bigger and better things: Mustard-sauce encrusted pork loin. Roast chicken. Whole turkeys! Roadkill. (Just joking, Dad. More or less.) Shish kabobs! Anything Mom hands to him to grill, he can handle.
Gentle Reader. If you, like me, are puzzled annually with a special gift for your dad, something that he won’t go out and buy for himself, check out what’s available here. Gosh. Wow. And, Hey. You’ll find something cool for your Dad, just like I did.
Huge. Win. 🙂
Well done, Uncommon Goods.
p.s. I also ordered this, to give to my own dear hubby because he frequently misplaces his glasses. But shhhh. Don’t tell. Father’s Day is still a few weeks away, and I want it to be a surprise!
(hehee) Those of you who condescend to read this blog regularly will get the private joke inherent in this gift. 🙂
One more view . . . and you can find out more about this little fella right here.
Thanks for popping in, Gentle Reader!
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